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Listen, think and act: Radio broadcasting to promote farmers’ participation in Mali’s land policy

The vast majority of agricultural production in Mali is carried out by smallholder farmers, who are often unaware of the laws and policies that govern access to the land and resources they rely on to secure their livelihoods. This means they can lose out as access to resources is secured by large-scale agribusinesses or investors. In response, the Institute for Research and Promotion of Alternatives in Development in Africa (IRPAD) launched a project to raise the awareness of farmers and their organisations of agricultural laws and policies in order to enhance their capacities to influence policy and to participate in decision-making in agriculture and natural resource management, particularly on land issues.

IRPAD used an innovative tool to communicate information on the law and related policies to rural people and farmers’ organisations: the approach combined community-based training and pre-recorded radio broadcasts explaining the provisions of Mali’s newly adopted Agricultural Orientation Law. This paper presents the tool, its outcomes and lessons learned and was produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment project.

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